Posted on Sunday, February 22 2009 @ 11:34:04 PST
Two games I've been looking forward to in the recent past are Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter 4. I'd been anticipating jumping into the fun, familiar mechanics and characters, either throwing shoryukens or shooting not-zombies in the face and then punching them, because fists hurt more than bullets for some reason.
But when I loaded up the RE5 demo good old suplex-happy, knife-fighting Leon wasn't there. Instead we get Chris and he's jacked. Like, super-jacked. I guess it's just supposed to make him seem tough, but he's got some serious biceps busting out of that tactical t-shirt thing and they're veiny. Makes me feel inadequate. Whatever, still a fun game. Moving on.
Street Figher 4 is what really put this whole thing over the edge for me. I'm pretty sure Ryu started out in SF2 at 5'10" and 150lbs. Did he fall into a bench press addiction in downtime between Street Figher editions? Did they need to fill him out to look better on the wider aspect-ratio? Am I just freaking out because this is the first time I've seen his manboobs in 3D? Ryu's got a big chest, big arms, silly abs. Looks like he wouldn't be able to straighten his elbows out to throw a hadouken.
And there are a bunch of other, silllier games with super jacked up main characters: Gears of War, Unreal Tournament , Army of Two. Characters that are all pretty much huge hyper-aggressive fist-pounding chads. Not that the Street Fighter gang was super realistic to begin with, but they also never made me want to drink a protein shake. Chris and the resident-evil protagonists always seemed more llike real people, though. Really, I think the jacking-up of Chris Redfield is an example of the move away from survival horror everyone is crying about-- you can't really be scared if you're the incredible hulk. I don't mind action-y gameplay, but I am getting tired of uber-muscled video game characters. They have their place, but I think it's usually unnecessary and it makes Street Fighter 4 less pretty than it could have been. At least now it's more believable that a Chris Redfield punch actually hurts more than a bullet to the forehead.